Coal and Its Derivatives

  • David J. Rose
Part of the Modern Perspectives in Energy book series (MPIE)


Coal is the most plentiful of all “conventional”* fossil fuels in the United States and around the world. Its distribution is uneven. U.S. coal resources exceed oil resources by about a factor of 10, and U.S. natural gas resources by a less certain but probably comparable factor. Removing it from the ground is, on the whole, not technically difficult and these several attractions have stimulated the U.S. government and many other public and private organizations to plan large increases in the use of coal during the coming years. The 400–500 billion tons of economically and technologically available reserves in the United States would last 600 years at present rate of use, and an estimated 4 trillion tons of ultimate resource would last much longer. The USSR and China are comparably rich in coal; Australia, Indonesia, India, and other countries have large or at least substantial deposits, so for some countries at least, raw availability is no problem. But for reasons to be given shortly, the actual increases will be more modest than have recently been prophesied.


Bituminous Coal Electrostatic Precipitator Strip Mining Longwall Mining Unit Train 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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